You Fight is a hybrid theater-electronic music performance, in which the sound, the very structural element within the work, is modulated and generated by the performers through several interactive motion capture systems.
The two performers compete in a surreal match of chess-boxing, a sport imaginated by French cartoonist Enki Bilal in the 90s, which alternenate a round of chess to one of boxing. As in the genre of operetta, the performance alternates purely musical sections to more narrative ones, able to carry on the story on a more abstract level. As the rounds follows each other we understand that game that we are belonging is the well known match between Gary Kasparov against Deep Blue computer that took place in 1997. The game ended with the abandonment of the Russian sample. After the meeting, Kasparov judged the computer moves as too creative to be a machine product. As if, bypassing the logical principles behind a probability algorithm, could count on some form of experience. Such an awareness can bring out the unpredictable as creative strategy. The champion suspected that the computer had been helped by human intervention. Starting from the suggestions provided by this unprecedented sports event, our research in You, ght! wants to investigate the relationship between human beings and technique through the theme of memory, here declined as ecological cognitive process, or as rooted form of knowledge that emerges within the experiential and environmental context. We are all aware that the technological democratization and the development of automation engineering have produced tools that lead to an inevitable atrophy of those mnemonic skills that are the basis of learning and survival, even though they make everyday life easier - allowing quick access to an impressive number of big data (systems geo-location, search engines, virtual encyclopaedias). In the work “YOU FIGHT!” the relationship between memory and technological prosthesis is the theme of the two performers work. The two actresses play through the technological devices that enable interaction between gesture and sound: to make the best use of the technological potential we had to practice them but without setting a rigid score. We had to program the machine associating the sounds generated in particular gestures. The two performers memorized the coding principles of the movement in space. This made possible to incorporate the machines in a new physical alphabet that enabled us to create and interpret music together with them, trying to free ourselves from a pure passivity attitude that usually characterizes our everyday life with technology.
In this sense, the interactive system designed for this work consists of three autonomous levels capable of revealing the complexity of learning process. Each of this level uses a speci c technology in order to explore, through different sound feedback, a different body projection: the gesture, space and bio-feedback.
From the incorporation of the technological element, the sound research is organized around three main narrative pillars. In each of these, the sound is both source of the experiential learning process and function of the body as imaginative projection. Initially the sound is presented as an echo of the movement, or as a diegetic sign able to make clear the relation gesture-sound. Progressively in the act the sound takes a more expressive function: the sound interaction serve to replace the absent word or, eventually, to describe the appearance of the characters’s emotional and psychological tension. In this way, the sound through the technological medium became the possible solution of the memory and technique enigma. Within the preoper musical parts, the syntaxes, now decoded by the performer’s motor memory, compose themself in an open score. In this case, the gestures, initially purely diegetic, stand back from the theatrical convection to melting in the sound enviroment. The concert form emerges as a climax of a cognitive process based on the learning ability of the creative relation between space, movement and sound information.
Along with the sound element the visual side play a key role . The video, in addition to perform a proper narrative function through the introduction of tableaux indicating the show moments , is used primarily as a luminous presence. It acts directly on the space that is delimited with lines, colors and words projected both on the oor, where the actors carry on the show , and on the wall in front of the audience marking a speci c and intelligible sign to the audience. The video is not only a simple scenic element, but also changes the course of the performance introducing real “signs” within stage space.